Karbon Homes and Byker Community Trust (BCT) have formed a new partnership which has seen Karbon take over the management of 1,800 homes on Newcastle’s Grade II* listed Byker Estate.
The transfer of the homes from BCT to 30,000-home landlord Karbon on 1 April 2021 comes after the two housing associations announced they were exploring a formal partnership late last year.
Shareholders voted overwhelmingly for the partnership to go ahead after a consultation in October 2020 found that 94% of respondents supported the plans.
The pair say the partnership will bring “new and accelerated investment” into the estate between 2021 to 2029, delivering better value for money and helping to achieve customers’ priorities.
Karbon and BCT have been working together in a cost-sharing partnership since July 2016, with Karbon providing a range of services to BCT including repairs and maintenance, finance, IT and HR.
Paul Fiddaman, chief executive of Karbon Homes, said: “I am pleased to formally welcome Byker Community Trust into the Karbon family after a successful partnership over the last five years.
“Whilst we already have some strong working relationships in the area, we are keen to build on the excellent work of BCT and learn from its award winning, community-led approach. At Karbon, we are very focused on the individual communities we serve and taking a local and estate-led approach is a valuable model that works incredibly well in Byker.
“We will be gaining new insights, skills and experience from the BCT team and we are excited to have them join us and help us in our ambitions to provide customers with a strong foundation for life.
“As part of the customer consultation, we developed a Community Pledge which outlined what we will deliver, based on the priorities that customers said were important to them. These include transformational investment across the environment, additional funding to modernise homes and building new homes to meet the needs of existing and future customers.”
Customers will continue to be involved in making decisions on Byker Estate with a minimum of four customers sitting on a new 12-strong BCT committee responsible for overseeing the quality of Karbon’s services.
The management area will continue to be called Byker Community Trust, while BCT’s office and staff will remain on the estate. Karbon will continue to deliver all housing services.
Following the retirement of BCT’s chief executive Jill Haley, Karbon has appointed Michelle Bell, BCT’s director of property and management, as assistant director of the Byker community.
Byker, who previously headed BCT’s property services team, will be responsible for managing the estate and ensuring that the commitments of the transfer are delivered.
Bell commented: “I am delighted to be joining Karbon Homes and continuing to deliver the improvements that customers asked for and the strategic objectives for Byker.
“Karbon has a great track record for delivering excellent services to their customers, and shaping strong and sustainable places for communities. With further investment, I’m excited to see the Estate’s transformation over the coming years.”
Image: The Grade II* listed Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne. Credit: Karbon Homes.